Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Cichlidae
(Cichlids) > Pseudocrenilabrinae
Etymology: Protomelas: Greek, protos = the first + Greek, melas, melanos = black (Ref. 45335).
Environment / Climate / Range
Freshwater; benthopelagic. Tropical; 9°S - 15°S
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 8.8 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4996)
Morphology | Morphometrics
soft rays: 9 - 10. Small with small mouth, resembles P. pleurotaenia in body form and coloration. Different from other members of genus because of the greatly enlarged molariform, pharyngeal teeth and from P. pleurotaenia in the larger eye, longer premaxillary pedicel and broader head and body.
Africa: Endemic to Lake Malawi. Only two specimens have been recorded.
One of the two specimens collected was from an extensive shallow sandy area with Vallisneria beds. Stomach content consisted of a gastropod and a ceratopogonid larva (Ref. 267).
Maréchal, C., 1991. Protomelas. p. 387-393. In J. Daget, J.-P. Gosse, G.G. Teugels and D.F.E. Thys van den Audenaerde (eds.) Check-list of the freshwater fishes of Africa (CLOFFA). ISNB, Brussels; MRAC, Tervuren; and ORSTOM, Paris. Vol. 4. (Ref. 4996)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: of no interest; aquarium: commercial
Common namesSynonymsMetabolismPredatorsEcotoxicologyReproductionMaturitySpawningFecundityEggsEgg development
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
CollaboratorsPicturesStamps, CoinsSoundsCiguateraSpeedSwim. typeGill areaOtolithsBrainsVision
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.01738 (0.00863 - 0.03498), b=2.96 (2.79 - 3.13), based on LWR estimates for this Subfamily-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.0 ±0.3 se; Based on size and trophs of closest relatives
Resilience (Ref. 69278
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low vulnerability (12 of 100) .